T Nation

X-reps and Static Contraction

I’ve definitely gotten some benefit from the x-reps and point-of-flexion (POF) workouts–though mostly they have taught me about the importance of using good form and being aware of which muscles are recruited for each exercise. I can honestly say that I added 1" to chest and .5" to arms as a result of strictly applying these techniques.

Static contraction has been effective, but at some point you just run out of weights; I’d say that if you bench 180#, then using SCT you could easily put 450# on the Smith machine for an SCT bench routine. But what happens next? Aim for 500 or 600#?

I’m sticking with a routine that’s back to basics, but incorporating x-reps on stretched position. That seems to be the most effective for getting bigger.

I think the question that needs to be asked is, are bodybuilders using these methods? I think you’ll find the overwhelming answer of no.

[quote]ptc22030 wrote:
I’ve definitely gotten some benefit from the x-reps and point-of-flexion (POF) workouts–though mostly they have taught me about the importance of using good form and being aware of which muscles are recruited for each exercise. I can honestly say that I added 1" to chest and .5" to arms as a result of strictly applying these techniques.

Static contraction has been effective, but at some point you just run out of weights; I’d say that if you bench 180#, then using SCT you could easily put 450# on the Smith machine for an SCT bench routine. But what happens next? Aim for 500 or 600#?

I’m sticking with a routine that’s back to basics, but incorporating x-reps on stretched position. That seems to be the most effective for getting bigger.[/quote]

I suppose it would be terrible to actually increase your 180 lbs bench to 400+ lbs for reps instead of holding 450lbs in place ?

[quote]Cephalic_Carnage wrote:

I’m sticking with a routine that’s back to basics, but incorporating x-reps on stretched position. That seems to be the most effective for getting bigger.

I suppose it would be terrible to actually increase your 180 lbs bench to 400+ lbs for reps instead of holding 450lbs in place ?

[/quote]

The tragedy is that he won’t want to throw the book away because it cost too much.

[quote]ptc22030 wrote:
I’ve definitely gotten some benefit from the x-reps and point-of-flexion (POF) workouts–though mostly they have taught me about the importance of using good form and being aware of which muscles are recruited for each exercise. I can honestly say that I added 1" to chest and .5" to arms as a result of strictly applying these techniques.

[/quote]

That’s interesting. I never got anything out of Static Contraction when I tried it. I kept adding weight to the bar, but didn’t make any gains apart from that.

I put on some weight, but that was due to the fact I was doing hardly any volume or frequency. I was following the book’s recommendations to the letter, by the way (maybe that was the problem!).

But you’ve made gains, so that’s what counts in the end.

Did you measure max lifts before and after the program?
I’d be interested to know if you had any carryover from the static holds to ‘normal’ lifting.

Most people report that they get weaker when they return to conventional training.

What is static contraction training based on? Is it where you just hold weights in a certain part of the ROM of an exercise and just add weight to the bar? As in no real concentric or eccentric portion of the lift in the entire program at all? Honest question, i’ve never heard of it

[quote]That One Guy wrote:
What is static contraction training based on? Is it where you just hold weights in a certain part of the ROM of an exercise and just add weight to the bar? As in no real concentric or eccentric portion of the lift in the entire program at all? Honest question, i’ve never heard of it[/quote]

There’s a reason why you’ve never heard of it. It doesn’t work. But yes, the whole routine is based around just holding a heavy weight in the fully contracted position of an exercise for a set amount of time and then trying to increase the time of the hold or the weight each session.

My experiences with Static Contraction training were similar to roybot’s. I was able to consistently put more weight on the bar each session, but this didn’t lead to any mass gains or ‘real’ strength gains. When I switched back to conventional training and full range of motion, I wasn’t really any stronger.

The experience was a complete waste of time.

[quote]AngryVader wrote:
That One Guy wrote:
What is static contraction training based on? Is it where you just hold weights in a certain part of the ROM of an exercise and just add weight to the bar? As in no real concentric or eccentric portion of the lift in the entire program at all? Honest question, i’ve never heard of it

There’s a reason why you’ve never heard of it. It doesn’t work. But yes, the whole routine is based around just holding a heavy weight in the fully contracted position of an exercise for a set amount of time and then trying to increase the time of the hold or the weight each session.

My experiences with Static Contraction training were similar to roybot’s. I was able to consistently put more weight on the bar each session, but this didn’t lead to any mass gains or ‘real’ strength gains. When I switched back to conventional training and full range of motion, I wasn’t really any stronger.

The experience was a complete waste of time. [/quote]

Apparently, Peter Sisco came up with the idea during a college class on ancient Greek logic. From what I remember, it was quite an interesting read, but totally impractical for mass or strength. The section on diet was ridiculous: if I remember correctly it was claimed that the RDA for protein (or just above it) was enough to sustain muscle growth.

Static Contraction training is based on the idea that the more intense a muscular contraction is, the greater the gains in muscle growth.

Peter Sisco reasoned that the most intense contractions come from using the heaviest weights, so in order to use maximal weights, you must reduce the range of motion.

That was the basic idea behind his first book, ‘Power Factor Training’, which used partials.

Sisco took that idea to its extreme with Static Contraction. He reduced the ROM to about an inch - you move the bar into position, then hold for the duration of the exercise in your strongest range (if you were benching, you’d normally hold near the top, whatever allows you to hold the most weight), usually for between 15 to 30 seconds. Once you can hold for 30 seconds or more, you add weight.

The frequency is similar to HIT: start with two or three workouts a week, and start reducing the frequency when progress starts to slow. An advanced trainee would supposedly continue to gain on one workout a month

We used to do some static hold work but on the weakest portion of the lifts instead of the strongest. We would use power partials in the weakest range for the same purpose. Both were used only to improve upon the sticking points but not as a workout alone.

I would be skeptical that this would be superior to full ROM work as far as hypertrophy. I would think this would be more useful for 1RM training and only as an addition to your normal full ROM training.

[quote]AngryVader wrote:
That One Guy wrote:
What is static contraction training based on? Is it where you just hold weights in a certain part of the ROM of an exercise and just add weight to the bar? As in no real concentric or eccentric portion of the lift in the entire program at all? Honest question, i’ve never heard of it

There’s a reason why you’ve never heard of it. It doesn’t work. But yes, the whole routine is based around just holding a heavy weight in the fully contracted position of an exercise for a set amount of time and then trying to increase the time of the hold or the weight each session.

My experiences with Static Contraction training were similar to roybot’s. I was able to consistently put more weight on the bar each session, but this didn’t lead to any mass gains or ‘real’ strength gains. When I switched back to conventional training and full range of motion, I wasn’t really any stronger.

The experience was a complete waste of time. [/quote]

Ahhhh, it’s NOT a complete waste of time if you learned your lesson. :wink:

[quote]forbes wrote:
AngryVader wrote:
That One Guy wrote:
What is static contraction training based on? Is it where you just hold weights in a certain part of the ROM of an exercise and just add weight to the bar? As in no real concentric or eccentric portion of the lift in the entire program at all? Honest question, i’ve never heard of it

There’s a reason why you’ve never heard of it. It doesn’t work. But yes, the whole routine is based around just holding a heavy weight in the fully contracted position of an exercise for a set amount of time and then trying to increase the time of the hold or the weight each session.

My experiences with Static Contraction training were similar to roybot’s. I was able to consistently put more weight on the bar each session, but this didn’t lead to any mass gains or ‘real’ strength gains. When I switched back to conventional training and full range of motion, I wasn’t really any stronger.

The experience was a complete waste of time.

Ahhhh, it’s NOT a complete waste of time if you learned your lesson. ;)[/quote]

You have a point there. I certainly won’t be basing my entire workout routine around partials or static contractions anymore. :wink:

[quote]roybot wrote:
AngryVader wrote:
That One Guy wrote:
What is static contraction training based on? Is it where you just hold weights in a certain part of the ROM of an exercise and just add weight to the bar? As in no real concentric or eccentric portion of the lift in the entire program at all? Honest question, i’ve never heard of it

There’s a reason why you’ve never heard of it. It doesn’t work. But yes, the whole routine is based around just holding a heavy weight in the fully contracted position of an exercise for a set amount of time and then trying to increase the time of the hold or the weight each session.

My experiences with Static Contraction training were similar to roybot’s. I was able to consistently put more weight on the bar each session, but this didn’t lead to any mass gains or ‘real’ strength gains. When I switched back to conventional training and full range of motion, I wasn’t really any stronger.

The experience was a complete waste of time.

Apparently, Peter Sisco came up with the idea during a college class on ancient Greek logic. From what I remember, it was quite an interesting read, but totally impractical for mass or strength. The section on diet was ridiculous: if I remember correctly it was claimed that the RDA for protein (or just above it) was enough to sustain muscle growth.

Static Contraction training is based on the idea that the more intense a muscular contraction is, the greater the gains in muscle growth.

Peter Sisco reasoned that the most intense contractions come from using the heaviest weights, so in order to use maximal weights, you must reduce the range of motion.

That was the basic idea behind his first book, ‘Power Factor Training’, which used partials.

Sisco took that idea to its extreme with Static Contraction. He reduced the ROM to about an inch - you move the bar into position, then hold for the duration of the exercise in your strongest range (if you were benching, you’d normally hold near the top, whatever allows you to hold the most weight), usually for between 15 to 30 seconds. Once you can hold for 30 seconds or more, you add weight.

The frequency is similar to HIT: start with two or three workouts a week, and start reducing the frequency when progress starts to slow. An advanced trainee would supposedly continue to gain on one workout a month
[/quote]

This is without doubt the best short synopsis I’ve read on both PF and SCT … hats off!

I definitely got strength gains from SCT, because when I’ve gone back to full-range lifting I’m at higher weights. And, I got a better understanding of good form for lifting.

But, I’m back to full-range lifting now and getting more out of it.

I would never write off anything from my arsenal if it proved to be effective in garnering SOME sort of progress. You may benefit in some way from Static Contraction training, but I’d never consider it a be-all-end-all strategy.